To qualify, farms must meet the following guidelines. The same family must have owned the farm for 100 consecutive years. The line of ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, grandchildren, siblings, and nephews or nieces, including through marriage or adoption. The farm must be at least 40 acres of the original land acquisition and make a financial contribution to the overall farm income.
"It is important to honor and respect our history," says Michael Ouart, vice provost for University of Missouri Extension. "These farms represent both Missouri's cultural heritage and the good stewardship that our farmers strive for."
In 2008, the Missouri Farm Bureau joined MU Extension and the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources as a program sponsor.
"Missouri Farm Bureau is a proud partner in the recognition of century farms," notes Blake Hurst, president. "We applaud the hardworking farm families that have kept us fed and clothed for generations. They represent an important part of our heritage and laid a foundation for the bounty Americans enjoy every day."
Applicants certified as owners of a 2012 Missouri Century Farm will be recognized by the local MU Extension office in the county where the farm is located. Applicants are presented with a sign and a certificate.
Since Missouri began the program in 1976, more than 7,500 century farms have been recognized.
For applications received by May 1, a $60 fee covers the cost of a certificate, farm sign and booklet for approved applicants. If the application is received between May 1 and May 15, the cost is $70. Applications must be postmarked by May 15, 2012, to be considered.
For application forms and information, call Extension Publications toll-free at 1-800-292-0969, contact your local MU Extension office, or visit the program website at http://extension.missouri.edu/centuryfarm.